Illusionists and Wizards and Sorcerers, oh my!

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Illusionists and Wizards and Sorcerers, oh my!

Post by Snoring Rock »

I have always had problems with certain old-school iterations of the illusionist class that has come out. The original 1e got no love and had but a hand full of spells. The 3.5e was better, in that there were other schools that you can/could specialize in besides just illusion.

So C&C has wizard and illusionist, but the illusionist is kind of a red headed step-child. If you compare the illusionist for C&C to the sorcerer from 3.xe you kind of see the relation. I wonder if I should use the CKG rules options to tweak the illusionist to work more like a sorcerer does.
As it stand the illusion magic is different. Minor image gets multiple saves depending on the conditions. Why? Wizard spells do not get that kind of scrutiny. I say this because I wonder why there are no other types/schools of magic to specialize in. But TLG made illusion a different type of magic and then added the healing arts in there. I suppose to keep the old school in the illusionist but make it a viable class option.

So is feels wonky. Let me give an example. Ever run an off the shelf adventure module? Say DCC, old school TSR or even current TLG? Notice that you find wizard scrolls and cleric scrolls in treasures? Ever find many illusionist scrolls? Why? IN 3.xe it was of because you had specialists and somehow they could still use spells outside of their given specialty. With C&C that is not the case. So a dungeon delve into some lost wizard’s castle is bound to turn up some scroll or even a spell book or hidden library. All filled with wizard spells. It just so happens that the party has an illusionist. D’oh!

Am I the only poor schmuck who runs into this? I have bene thinking of making spells inter-usable between wizard and illusionist but making the illusionist work like a sorcerer in respect to spell and books lie in the CKG options.

Thoughts?

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Re: Illusionists and Wizards and Sorcerers, oh my!

Post by Treebore »

I've ran into that is since 1E. Just like all their magic weapons were almost always long swords, with an occasional axe, and every once in a great while, a pole arm. Then there were bows, and only every once in a great while, a crossbow.

How do I deal with it? The same way I always have, I change the magic items to fit what my players are playing.
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Re: Illusionists and Wizards and Sorcerers, oh my!

Post by alcyone »

Well, you can just pencil in some Illusionist scrolls :).

The Illusionist is extremely powerful because of all of the vaguely written spells. So maybe that's the upside; you can more carefully control which the character gets.

I am playing a Bard that gets Illusionist spells as though I was class-and-a-half, and I have decided to pick up every dragon-themed spell the illusionist has, because it's so silly it makes me laugh. Best paired with the Elf Pantheon from Of Gods and Monsters.
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Re: Illusionists and Wizards and Sorcerers, oh my!

Post by Kayolan »

Snoring Rock wrote:The original 1e got no love and had but a hand full of spells.
I disagree, the illusionist spells had much more versatility. There are many ways you can use illusions, an ingenious player will more than make up for this lack of different spells by taking full advantage of the creativeness these spells offer.
Snoring Rock wrote:Ever run an off the shelf adventure module? Say DCC, old school TSR or even current TLG? Notice that you find wizard scrolls and cleric scrolls in treasures? Ever find many illusionist scrolls? Why?
You are running the module and not using the module, there is a difference here: running a module "as is" is restrictive, where as "using" a module means that you get what you want out of it, add or delete, and get the most out of the product. The game assumes, especially in 1E, that illusionist scrolls and books are rare compared to M-U spells, namely because it's harder to become an Illusionist, so therefore there are fewer of them.
Treebore wrote: I've ran into that is since 1E. Just like all their magic weapons were almost always long swords, with an occasional axe, and every once in a great while, a pole arm. Then there were bows, and only every once in a great while, a crossbow.

How do I deal with it? The same way I always have, I change the magic items to fit what my players are playing.
Well of course, the magic items in the rule books are only what the author(s) has provided ahead of time for your use, they are not nor never have been the only magic items in the game. Again, the game assumes that there are more magic weapons of the sword variety, because this is the most efficient and historically the most effective weapon, so it stands to reason that the sword would be enchanted more often than let's say, a club for example. Campaign worlds differ, so you have the choice to alter at will yadda yadda yadda :)

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Re: Illusionists and Wizards and Sorcerers, oh my!

Post by Arduin »

Illusionists in C&C are at LEAST as powerful as Wizards. More so in the hands of a good player. But to be brutally honest, the player needs more imagination and intelligence than one playing a wizard.
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Re: Illusionists and Wizards and Sorcerers, oh my!

Post by Jyrdan Fairblade »

I agree with Arduin. Illusion is a special type of magic. Its power isn’t necessarily found in the rules; it requires a great deal of player creativity. In the right hands, it’s way more flexible than regular wizardry.
Arduin wrote:Illusionists in C&C are at LEAST as powerful as Wizards. More so in the hands of a good player. But to be brutally honest, the player needs more imagination and intelligence than one playing a wizard.

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Re: Illusionists and Wizards and Sorcerers, oh my!

Post by Snoring Rock »

Kayolan wrote:
Snoring Rock wrote:The original 1e got no love and had but a hand full of spells.
I disagree, the illusionist spells had much more versatility. There are many ways you can use illusions, an ingenious player will more than make up for this lack of different spells by taking full advantage of the creativeness these spells offer.
Snoring Rock wrote:Ever run an off the shelf adventure module? Say DCC, old school TSR or even current TLG? Notice that you find wizard scrolls and cleric scrolls in treasures? Ever find many illusionist scrolls? Why?
You are running the module and not using the module, there is a difference here: running a module "as is" is restrictive, where as "using" a module means that you get what you want out of it, add or delete, and get the most out of the product. The game assumes, especially in 1E, that illusionist scrolls and books are rare compared to M-U spells, namely because it's harder to become an Illusionist, so therefore there are fewer of them.
Treebore wrote: I've ran into that is since 1E. Just like all their magic weapons were almost always long swords, with an occasional axe, and every once in a great while, a pole arm. Then there were bows, and only every once in a great while, a crossbow.

How do I deal with it? The same way I always have, I change the magic items to fit what my players are playing.
Well of course, the magic items in the rule books are only what the author(s) has provided ahead of time for your use, they are not nor never have been the only magic items in the game. Again, the game assumes that there are more magic weapons of the sword variety, because this is the most efficient and historically the most effective weapon, so it stands to reason that the sword would be enchanted more often than let's say, a club for example. Campaign worlds differ, so you have the choice to alter at will yadda yadda yadda :)
Very much agreed. You must "use" the module as you state. There are however, many times where a specific spell or item is given for a magic user (wizard) that will be specifically needed later in the game. In which case, you end up redesigning the thing. That is ok, but defeats my purpose in making the purchase....saving time.

But you make good pointes here. On the other hand it really is a wizard's world.

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Re: Illusionists and Wizards and Sorcerers, oh my!

Post by Treebore »

Snoring Rock wrote: In which case, you end up redesigning the thing. That is ok, but defeats my purpose in making the purchase....saving time.
It only takes a few minutes to change out magic items and spells, it takes hours to draw the maps and create the NPC's, decide on monsters, and come up with the adventure story. So modules still save me a crap ton of time, even if all I use are the maps and the NPC's.
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Re: Illusionists and Wizards and Sorcerers, oh my!

Post by serleran »

It does not help the illusionist much that, for the majority of players, they've not encountered one of considerable power or effect as most modules barely have them mentioned, much less as the prime opponent. There are a few, sure, and there are some of lower levels scattered around... but there are far more "wizards" in the wild.

It might have something to do with a tendency to have illusions (run by the DM) as a "cheap trick."

Makes me want to put together a small module like "Obfuscated Obelisk."

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Re: Illusionists and Wizards and Sorcerers, oh my!

Post by Snoring Rock »

serleran wrote:It does not help the illusionist much that, for the majority of players, they've not encountered one of considerable power or effect as most modules barely have them mentioned, much less as the prime opponent. There are a few, sure, and there are some of lower levels scattered around... but there are far more "wizards" in the wild.

It might have something to do with a tendency to have illusions (run by the DM) as a "cheap trick."

Makes me want to put together a small module like "Obfuscated Obelisk."
Ha....... +1

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Re: Illusionists and Wizards and Sorcerers, oh my!

Post by serleran »

serleran wrote:It does not help the illusionist much that, for the majority of players, they've not encountered one of considerable power or effect as most modules barely have them mentioned, much less as the prime opponent.
Or maybe they have... and didn't realize it.

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Re: Illusionists and Wizards and Sorcerers, oh my!

Post by Julian Grimm »

I had a player create a gnome illusionist and played it well. This changed my mind on illusionists as a whole. The C&C illusionist fixes the problem of the class in big ways. As for magic items, you can alter what is there for the class and pencil a few in as mentioned above. Also I will echo the sentiment that you have to be imaginative to play the class. It is not as straight forward as a wizard.

One other thing I will mention. I used to have a problem with C&C not having the traditional schools and specialists. I had in the past worked them in. However, using the illusionist as a template along with the specialist variants from 3.X's Unearthed Arcana I can make classes that are specialists and not have to fool with the more wonky specializing rules.
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Re: Illusionists and Wizards and Sorcerers, oh my!

Post by Arduin »

AD&D synthesized the requirement for higher intelligence by requiring an Illusionist PC to have a minimum Int of 15. You could be a plain wizard with an Int of only 9.

That tells ya what Gygax thought of the class.
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Post by Lurker »

Julian Grimm wrote:
...

One other thing I will mention. I used to have a problem with C&C not having the traditional schools and specialists. I had in the past worked them in. However, using the illusionist as a template along with the specialist variants from 3.X's Unearthed Arcana I can make classes that are specialists and not have to fool with the more wonky specializing rules.
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Re: Illusionists and Wizards and Sorcerers, oh my!

Post by Captain_K »

My biggest gripe with the Illusionist is getting them to stop trying to wring too much out of the vague spells... a constant struggle to tamp down on the first level spell taking out 50 orcs goal...
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Re: Illusionists and Wizards and Sorcerers, oh my!

Post by Arduin »

Captain_K wrote: a constant struggle to tamp down on the first level spell taking out 50 orcs goal...
I can't think of any 1st level spell that can even remotely directly take on 50 creatures. Are you sure that your players are reading the book right side up? :lol:
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Re: Illusionists and Wizards and Sorcerers, oh my!

Post by koralas »

Arduin wrote:
Captain_K wrote: a constant struggle to tamp down on the first level spell taking out 50 orcs goal...
I can't think of any 1st level spell that can even remotely directly take on 50 creatures. Are you sure that your players are reading the book right side up? :lol:
In theory Silent Image could take out many, many creatures, even at 1st level it creates an illusion that is 50 cubic feet in size, though you get a save, and if any save, then the next round everyone else gets to save again with the others shouting that it isn't real giving them a large bonus. Of course, by that time any that missed their save might already be dead from the damage suffered...

As some others have said, it depends on if your GM wants to relegate illusions to cheap tricks, or grant them the power as laid out in the rules. Though beware, what is good for the goose is good for the gander...

As I stand now, were I to make a sorcerer class for C&C I would probably look to base it on the Lyndon Hardy "Master of Five Magics" sorcerer, a bit of illusionist, and a bit of mind control. Though the power you utilize ultimately starts to eat away at your life force. Not quite sure how I want to handle that yet, which is why I haven't codified it yet...

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Re: Illusionists and Wizards and Sorcerers, oh my!

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koralas wrote:In theory Silent Image could take out many, many creatures, even at 1st level it creates an illusion that is 50 cubic feet in size, though you get a save, and if any save, then the next round everyone else gets to save again with the others shouting that it isn't real giving them a large bonus. Of course, by that time any that missed their save might already be dead from the damage suffered...
And there's the rub. What damage exactly? Not much at first level. Unless a GM is allowing silent image to be abused. It is silent. You try to go outside of what it can do and the bonus to save is going to be HUGE. Let players try anything. Just keep the spell limitations in mind and it is no problem to GM.
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Re: Illusionists and Wizards and Sorcerers, oh my!

Post by Captain_K »

Basically my comments to the player are along those lines, keep it sort of in line with the "power" of other spells, be creative, but each first level spell will not wipe out all opposition all the time.. no fun for anyone but you... he's super clever and doing good. Ex. Make a "screen" of the swamp kind of a giant illusion of the back ground put the group behind it and walk up to the front door of the castle.. clever idea, but in affect a group invisibility for 8 PCs... I then had to try to explain why it would not work as he wanted..
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Re: Illusionists and Wizards and Sorcerers, oh my!

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Captain_K wrote: Ex. Make a "screen" of the swamp kind of a giant illusion of the back ground put the group behind it and walk up to the front door of the castle.. clever idea, but in affect a group invisibility for 8 PCs... I then had to try to explain why it would not work as he wanted..

That's is outside the power of the spell as it is duplicating a higher level illusionist spell and the almost impossibility of the illusionist to assume the viewpoint of the observer (to make the illusion conform to the background as viewed by another while moving) while not in the observer's position. The spell gives him no unusual powers. Stuff like the that GM must be aware of and stomp on.

It can take years of GMing illusionists in "D&D" to get really good at it but here's a hint. You can't make an illusion of something you haven't seen. In this case, the illusionist hasn't seen the background from the other person's perspective, in real time while moving.
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Re: Illusionists and Wizards and Sorcerers, oh my!

Post by Jyrdan Fairblade »

I handled that by scaling the difficulty of the check required (or conversely, the ease of disbelief). The greater the moving parts, the harder the check required, depending on the spell used.
Captain_K wrote:My biggest gripe with the Illusionist is getting them to stop trying to wring too much out of the vague spells... a constant struggle to tamp down on the first level spell taking out 50 orcs goal...

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Re: Illusionists and Wizards and Sorcerers, oh my!

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Arduin wrote:
koralas wrote:In theory Silent Image could take out many, many creatures, even at 1st level it creates an illusion that is 50 cubic feet in size, though you get a save, and if any save, then the next round everyone else gets to save again with the others shouting that it isn't real giving them a large bonus. Of course, by that time any that missed their save might already be dead from the damage suffered...
And there's the rub. What damage exactly? Not much at first level. Unless a GM is allowing silent image to be abused. It is silent. You try to go outside of what it can do and the bonus to save is going to be HUGE. Let players try anything. Just keep the spell limitations in my and it i no problem to GM.
Depends on what you can fit into a 40'+10'/level cube. Use your imagination and you can find many different ways to do it, volley's of arrows, the collapsing of the dungeon ceiling, some creature with a breath weapon, a fireball, etc. The possibilities are endless, even if limiting the damage to each creature to a d4+1+(1d4+1/every two levels) per round, you can still take out large volumes of creatures. Why to each creature, because each is experiencing the full illusion, even if limiting to 1d4+1 flat damage per creature it's effect can be huge. The first round there may or may not be any adjustment to the saves. The second round there could be depending on the illusion type. And, like I said, if anyone saved the first round, their would be big saves in the second round as they shout out the illusion, and on third round there would be huge saves regardless.

There are no damage bounds by the spell, but it does say that it can duplicate an object, creature, or force. It spells out that creatures that believe the illusion actually takes damage, and that the HP damage is suffered to the mind/psyche. Other 1st level spells can dish out much more damage as the MU levels up, and these spells do not allow saves, such as Burning Hands and Magic Missile. The difference is the Illusionist is not causing direct physical damage, it is to their psyche, which is why it can ultimately cause large amounts of damage in a single strike, but it is an all or nothing proposition.

Take for instance a volley of arrows, most, if not all, will not get a save bonus since there won't be any big tell-tale signs. The second, some that saved can call out the illusion giving others say a +5 on their save, those that can't hear them will probably get a +3 on their save having seen some arrows disappear after they hit their compatriots. On the third round the save could get as high as +10/+6. Still in that first round a number of creatures could have fallen to the false flight of arrows. Those that fail on the 2nd round, if talking orcs anyhow, have a good chance of being slain, though many would recognize the flights being what they are and take no additional damage. 3rd and later rounds few if any survivors would take further damage since they should get that it is an illusion.

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Re: Illusionists and Wizards and Sorcerers, oh my!

Post by Arduin »

koralas wrote:Depends on what you can fit into a 40'+10'/level cube. Use your imagination and you can find many different ways to do it, volley's of arrows, the collapsing of the dungeon ceiling, some creature with a breath weapon, a fireball, etc.
Exactly. But since most of those things have more than a visual component, toss in huge bonus to saving throw for trying to exceed spell parameters. (excepting arrows). But with the arrows you HAVE to ask, "How many arrows can the Illusionist control in a realistic manner to hit targets, at the same time?" One or two MAX. The spell does NOT increase mental abilities.

BTW, in C&C you explicitly cannot give someone a better save (disbelief) by calling out to them. C&C handles the Illusionist differently than D&D in some respects.

You REALLY have dissect what the player is proposing. You'll find much of it not possible. The example above of creating seamless, moving scenery from a viewpoint that the caster cannot actually see it, is totally impossible and would fail in an epic manner.
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Post by Relaxo »

Snoring Rock wrote:... Ever run an off the shelf adventure module? Say DCC, old school TSR or even current TLG? Notice that you find wizard scrolls and cleric scrolls in treasures? Ever find many illusionist scrolls? ...
Thoughts?
Illusionist magic items are invisible that's why you can't see them.
It's an illusion.

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Re: Illusionists and Wizards and Sorcerers, oh my!

Post by Gundoggy »

You don't have to create an illusion that creates damage. Distraction can be very effective, illusion of a flame moving away from party bad guys chase it...saves you from combat or gives you a surprise round attack from behind. Illusions that draw attacks away from PC's, reducing damage to party. Used creatively and simply they can greatly improve party effectiveness and survival rates.

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Re: Illusionists and Wizards and Sorcerers, oh my!

Post by Snoring Rock »

koralas wrote:
Arduin wrote:
koralas wrote:In theory Silent Image could take out many, many creatures, even at 1st level it creates an illusion that is 50 cubic feet in size, though you get a save, and if any save, then the next round everyone else gets to save again with the others shouting that it isn't real giving them a large bonus. Of course, by that time any that missed their save might already be dead from the damage suffered...
And there's the rub. What damage exactly? Not much at first level. Unless a GM is allowing silent image to be abused. It is silent. You try to go outside of what it can do and the bonus to save is going to be HUGE. Let players try anything. Just keep the spell limitations in my and it i no problem to GM.
Depends on what you can fit into a 40'+10'/level cube. Use your imagination and you can find many different ways to do it, volley's of arrows, the collapsing of the dungeon ceiling, some creature with a breath weapon, a fireball, etc. The possibilities are endless, even if limiting the damage to each creature to a d4+1+(1d4+1/every two levels) per round, you can still take out large volumes of creatures. Why to each creature, because each is experiencing the full illusion, even if limiting to 1d4+1 flat damage per creature it's effect can be huge. The first round there may or may not be any adjustment to the saves. The second round there could be depending on the illusion type. And, like I said, if anyone saved the first round, their would be big saves in the second round as they shout out the illusion, and on third round there would be huge saves regardless.

There are no damage bounds by the spell, but it does say that it can duplicate an object, creature, or force. It spells out that creatures that believe the illusion actually takes damage, and that the HP damage is suffered to the mind/psyche. Other 1st level spells can dish out much more damage as the MU levels up, and these spells do not allow saves, such as Burning Hands and Magic Missile. The difference is the Illusionist is not causing direct physical damage, it is to their psyche, which is why it can ultimately cause large amounts of damage in a single strike, but it is an all or nothing proposition.

Take for instance a volley of arrows, most, if not all, will not get a save bonus since there won't be any big tell-tale signs. The second, some that saved can call out the illusion giving others say a +5 on their save, those that can't hear them will probably get a +3 on their save having seen some arrows disappear after they hit their compatriots. On the third round the save could get as high as +10/+6. Still in that first round a number of creatures could have fallen to the false flight of arrows. Those that fail on the 2nd round, if talking orcs anyhow, have a good chance of being slain, though many would recognize the flights being what they are and take no additional damage. 3rd and later rounds few if any survivors would take further damage since they should get that it is an illusion.
Ok so here is where I have a problem. The characters get a save at the onset of the spell. It is an INT save. If they fail, they take damage. That damage can kill. So now that some of the party made their save and thus no damage, they can tell their compatriots to disbelieve the illusion and he gets another save at +5?

What if it was a wizard? What if he cast a fireball and 3 guys make the save but 2 guys do not. If the guys who made their save say "hey its' magic fire", can the guys who missed, get a second save? Maybe not the best example. Try an ice storm instead. The book states that illusion magic is different but just as real. So why would you give more saves in the case of an illusion? Try web. If I cast web as my illusion cant I hold a guy down? If he fails the save then yes. So ig he cant hear it, he gest another save? I think not.

This is another reason I was toying with the idea of making illusionists more like sorcerers. Then it is arcane magic in a more real sense in some players minds. Change the name to sorcerer and the second and third saves vs. disbelieve all dry up fast.

Heck, a character could see an illusory meteor swarm and just start rolling saves as fast as he can to disbelieve. Eventually he makes the save right? How many saves do you get against an illusion? In that case, the illusionist is sorely out-classed by a wizard. Against a wizard you get one save and done. With an illusionist you get as many as you like as you continue to listen to your friends yell its and illusion or you cant hear an arrow coming at you, so it must be an illusion.

I just think this one is wonky.

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Re: Illusionists and Wizards and Sorcerers, oh my!

Post by koralas »

Arduin wrote:
koralas wrote:Depends on what you can fit into a 40'+10'/level cube. Use your imagination and you can find many different ways to do it, volley's of arrows, the collapsing of the dungeon ceiling, some creature with a breath weapon, a fireball, etc.
Exactly. But since most of those things have more than a visual component, toss in huge bonus to saving throw for trying to exceed spell parameters. (excepting arrows). But with the arrows you HAVE to ask, "How many arrows can the Illusionist control in a realistic manner to hit targets, at the same time?" One or two MAX. The spell does NOT increase mental abilities.

BTW, in C&C you explicitly cannot give someone a better save (disbelief) by calling out to them. C&C handles the Illusionist differently than D&D in some respects.

You REALLY have dissect what the player is proposing. You'll find much of it not possible. The example above of creating seamless, moving scenery from a viewpoint that the caster cannot actually see it, is totally impossible and would fail in an epic manner.
Right, though, usually on the first round the targets will have less of a time to react and analyse the fact that sound, scent, or perhaps other clues are missing, especially since the appearance of the illusion will almost always be by surprise. Imagine you are suddenly confronted with an ogre stepping around a corner, or getting up from some hidden position. Your first reaction is oh crud, next you start to size up the ogre, by this time it has had a round to act. As you start to analyze what you are seeing you start to notice inconsistencies, and get a bonus to your save. If others notice it is an illusion, they shout it out to try and snap you out of it, thus additional bonus.

Technically, BtB there are no bonuses other than your attribute bonus, if applicable, class level or racial adjustment, and any possible magical adjustments to any SIEGE check. After all, that is all that a Saving Throw is, an attribute check using the SIEGEengine. The flip side is making an adjustment to the Challenge Level, however, the rules do not call out the possibility of a negatic Challenge Level, so there would never be any additional "bonus" to lower that rating, and at best your Challenge Class is based on whether or not the tested attribute is Primary or Secondary for a 12 or 18.

Lets look at this from a different direction. When confronted with a large log that has to be moved, one person may not be able to do it. Would you allow another character or multiple characters to assist? If so, how do you apply something like that to the SIEGE check? If you can provide a bonus there, then you can also provide a bonus to the save for something that is purely mental in nature, but pointing out that it doesn't really exist.

Consider the comment in the PHB on Illusionist magic -
PHB, Page 50 wrote:In contrast, illusionists utilize a very different type of magic. Illusionists alter the perception of form and reality for each creature who is subjected to it or views it. An illusion is every bit as real to the spell’s recipient or viewer as a physical creation. Indeed, an illusionist calls forth his magic and gives it a form that can be more easily perceived to the senses. The actual illusion is the comprehensible form the magic is given.
The illusionist is controlling every arrow to at least a certain degree, as long as it fits the AoE. The illusion is crafted such that it shows a volley of arrows, with one (or more) is flying towards you, it is the mind of the victim that perceives the arrow flying at him. Now you could also craft it to show that all the arrows are flying towards the shaman, and watch the orcs race to protect the shaman lest the tribe fall into chaos without his leadership.

Now don't forget the flip side of this, if the illusionists companions can see the illusion, they could be affected just as easily as the opponent. At least for as long as they are in range of the spell. :twisted:

And don't forget what I have been saying for a long time, and the PHB actually calls out that Illusionist magic can be arguably, "the most powerful of all magics." This, the PHB says, is since it transcends the laws of physics "even beyond that exist in a fantasy universe." Or as Darth Vader once said, "The ability to destroy a planet is insignificant next to the power of the Force."

Still, by the description of illusionist magics in the PHB on page 50, you can climb an illusory rope. That is impossible isn't it? Yet, BtB it is allowed... (note that I don't play that way, while you can't walk through an illusory wall if you fail your save, someone could throw you through it, you can watch others walk through it, which would allow another save, and improve your chances at success)

koralas
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Re: Illusionists and Wizards and Sorcerers, oh my!

Post by koralas »

Snoring Rock wrote:Ok so here is where I have a problem. The characters get a save at the onset of the spell. It is an INT save. If they fail, they take damage. That damage can kill. So now that some of the party made their save and thus no damage, they can tell their compatriots to disbelieve the illusion and he gets another save at +5?

What if it was a wizard? What if he cast a fireball and 3 guys make the save but 2 guys do not. If the guys who made their save say "hey its' magic fire", can the guys who missed, get a second save? Maybe not the best example. Try an ice storm instead. The book states that illusion magic is different but just as real. So why would you give more saves in the case of an illusion? Try web. If I cast web as my illusion cant I hold a guy down? If he fails the save then yes. So ig he cant hear it, he gest another save? I think not.

This is another reason I was toying with the idea of making illusionists more like sorcerers. Then it is arcane magic in a more real sense in some players minds. Change the name to sorcerer and the second and third saves vs. disbelieve all dry up fast.

Heck, a character could see an illusory meteor swarm and just start rolling saves as fast as he can to disbelieve. Eventually he makes the save right? How many saves do you get against an illusion? In that case, the illusionist is sorely out-classed by a wizard. Against a wizard you get one save and done. With an illusionist you get as many as you like as you continue to listen to your friends yell its and illusion or you cant hear an arrow coming at you, so it must be an illusion.

I just think this one is wonky.
On subsequent[/] rounds, yes they can get a bonus to the save, the initial round they would not, remember that in the round the first volley hits them, they don't get an assisted bonus, but in rounds two, three, etc. if someone calls it out they would. Silent Image has a duration of concentration so as long as the Illusionist continues to concentrate, the spell continues to be in effect, and more volleys will come.

On the fireball, no, for two reasons. First the effect of the FB is instantaneous, thus it explodes, you save or don't and take damage as appropriate. Second, the magical fire, or the falling ice for Ice Storm, is real, it isn't only in your mind as illusions are. So with Ice Storm, the damage is taken in the first round when the ice falls, then the ground remains slippery for the remainder of the duration (note the ice does not fall during the whole duration of that spell, only the first round). This is why the Shadow Conjuration and Shadow Evocation are more powerful, they create a quasi-real effect, so even if you save against those illusions, you still are affected by the partially real portion of the effect of the spell.

To only allow a single save against illusions is to give the Illusionist (or Sorcerer in your part) an incredible boost in power. Create a Silent Image of an evil god, and that god will destroy anything that doesn't make it's initial save.

On meteor swarm, it is a single save. Against an illusory meteor swarm, it is a single save for each round the illusionist keeps the spell going. This is because the effect is instantaneous. You only get one save against a spell per round. Illusions can last multiple rounds, usually being based on how long the caster concentrates on it, some spells state it can go longer than concentration and give the additional duration for it. So if someone doesn't see through the illusion on round one, they take damage, if on the second round someone that did recognize it as an illusion calls it out, a second save is warranted with a bonus. Likewise, if on the second round you have seen someone one from the first round not be affected, you get another save, though without any other prompting, you may or may not get a bonus, depending on the spell cast, Silent Image would give a bonus since you don't feel the heat or hear the impacts, Major Image would not grant a bonus since it can provide effects for all the senses. Additionally since Silent Image doesn't provide for the other sensory effects, so if there should be sounds, smells, heat, etc. then you will get to save against it regardless if anyone points it out as an illusion.

The important thing to remember, is you only get 1 save per round against any given spell. If multiple spells are cast at you, you can get one save per, if the spells allow them, but no assist bonus can be granted on that initial save. Subsequent rounds, you can gain the save bonus, and if successful you will not receive any additional damage, and will no longer be affected by that illusion. A second casting of Silent Image, even if using the same effect, will require new saves.

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Re: Illusionists and Wizards and Sorcerers, oh my!

Post by Snoring Rock »

koralas wrote:
Snoring Rock wrote:Ok so here is where I have a problem. The characters get a save at the onset of the spell. It is an INT save. If they fail, they take damage. That damage can kill. So now that some of the party made their save and thus no damage, they can tell their compatriots to disbelieve the illusion and he gets another save at +5?

What if it was a wizard? What if he cast a fireball and 3 guys make the save but 2 guys do not. If the guys who made their save say "hey its' magic fire", can the guys who missed, get a second save? Maybe not the best example. Try an ice storm instead. The book states that illusion magic is different but just as real. So why would you give more saves in the case of an illusion? Try web. If I cast web as my illusion cant I hold a guy down? If he fails the save then yes. So ig he cant hear it, he gest another save? I think not.

This is another reason I was toying with the idea of making illusionists more like sorcerers. Then it is arcane magic in a more real sense in some players minds. Change the name to sorcerer and the second and third saves vs. disbelieve all dry up fast.

Heck, a character could see an illusory meteor swarm and just start rolling saves as fast as he can to disbelieve. Eventually he makes the save right? How many saves do you get against an illusion? In that case, the illusionist is sorely out-classed by a wizard. Against a wizard you get one save and done. With an illusionist you get as many as you like as you continue to listen to your friends yell its and illusion or you cant hear an arrow coming at you, so it must be an illusion.

I just think this one is wonky.
On subsequent[/] rounds, yes they can get a bonus to the save, the initial round they would not, remember that in the round the first volley hits them, they don't get an assisted bonus, but in rounds two, three, etc. if someone calls it out they would. Silent Image has a duration of concentration so as long as the Illusionist continues to concentrate, the spell continues to be in effect, and more volleys will come.

On the fireball, no, for two reasons. First the effect of the FB is instantaneous, thus it explodes, you save or don't and take damage as appropriate. Second, the magical fire, or the falling ice for Ice Storm, is real, it isn't only in your mind as illusions are. So with Ice Storm, the damage is taken in the first round when the ice falls, then the ground remains slippery for the remainder of the duration (note the ice does not fall during the whole duration of that spell, only the first round). This is why the Shadow Conjuration and Shadow Evocation are more powerful, they create a quasi-real effect, so even if you save against those illusions, you still are affected by the partially real portion of the effect of the spell.

To only allow a single save against illusions is to give the Illusionist (or Sorcerer in your part) an incredible boost in power. Create a Silent Image of an evil god, and that god will destroy anything that doesn't make it's initial save.

On meteor swarm, it is a single save. Against an illusory meteor swarm, it is a single save for each round the illusionist keeps the spell going. This is because the effect is instantaneous. You only get one save against a spell per round. Illusions can last multiple rounds, usually being based on how long the caster concentrates on it, some spells state it can go longer than concentration and give the additional duration for it. So if someone doesn't see through the illusion on round one, they take damage, if on the second round someone that did recognize it as an illusion calls it out, a second save is warranted with a bonus. Likewise, if on the second round you have seen someone one from the first round not be affected, you get another save, though without any other prompting, you may or may not get a bonus, depending on the spell cast, Silent Image would give a bonus since you don't feel the heat or hear the impacts, Major Image would not grant a bonus since it can provide effects for all the senses. Additionally since Silent Image doesn't provide for the other sensory effects, so if there should be sounds, smells, heat, etc. then you will get to save against it regardless if anyone points it out as an illusion.

The important thing to remember, is you only get 1 save per round against any given spell. If multiple spells are cast at you, you can get one save per, if the spells allow them, but no assist bonus can be granted on that initial save. Subsequent rounds, you can gain the save bonus, and if successful you will not receive any additional damage, and will no longer be affected by that illusion. A second casting of Silent Image, even if using the same effect, will require new saves.


Ok in C&C the damage is as real from an illusory arrow as it is from magic missile. My examples are not the best. Again, illusionist are wonky. Try this....change the name from illusionist to sorcerer and see how that changes it all. Base the saves on different attributes. Whole new world.

My point here is that you get one save for the fireball (DEX). You get one save from the illusory fireball (INT). More saves after the original round, I think, is devaluing the illusionist. If I see a caster getting ready to cast fireball, I should get a bonus on my dex save because I see it coming....right? Who gives that bonus? But if affected by an illusion, I get a new save every round?

I say you get one save with bonuses based on circumstances. The silent image spell may be broken. I am not sure how much longer I will allow it in my campaign.

On one hand, in the first round, you see a dragon lunging at you. You do not think about sound or smell, you just duck. You get a save. If you fail, you take damage. In the next round you get another save because the rest of the dragons' body seems to be missing or you cannot smell the brimstone in his breath. You get another save with a bonus. That makes sense. So, does the damage go away too? Now that I know it was not real, how can I believe the damage I took?

On the other hand, allowing this greater damage and flexibility with illusions may counter the weakness in getting extra saves against them as the rounds go on. In that way of thinking, I am inclined to let my players get nasty with the illusions since the effects may not be that long.

I like hearing other thought on this. I have long struggled with illusionists.

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Re: Illusionists and Wizards and Sorcerers, oh my!

Post by alcyone »

My interpretation of the rules is even if an illusionist walks up to you and says "Hi, I am an ILLUSIONIST. I am going to make a dragon appear behind you, and even though it's not real, it is going to kill you." and someone detects truth on him and tells everyone and someone walks up and tapes a sign to his chest saying "Don't believe a word this guy says, after all, he is an illusionist." it won't make the slightest bit of difference, because it's not that kind of illusion. You could certainly call it something other than illusion if it helps, and banish the word "belief", but when you are making your save, it's really like saving against a wizard spell, it just happens under additional circumstances.

I've never needed an in-game explanation, it's just how it is. But then, I am one of those people who doesn't care if clerics are better at surprise.
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